Top 10 Best Practices For Server-Side Tagging
Server-side tagging is set to be the glaringly obvious approach for marketing analysts, website owners, and advertising agency owners to effectively manage and analyze data in the face of the third-party cookie blackout.
Having said that, it is necessary to understand that it has been around for a long time but there is little to no adoption despite the evident risks. Over the years, the industry has realized that server-side tagging is complicated and didn’t adopt it unless it was compelled to use it.
To help make your transition from client-side tagging to server-side tagging easier, we have curated a list of top ten best practices. They will not only make your implementation plan clearer but also serve you in future as your organization adapts to the evolving cyber laws and consumer preferences.
Let’s get started:
10 Super Important Best Practices For Best Server-Side Tagging Results
By following these best practices, you can create a robust, efficient, and secure server-side tagging implementation that effectively meets your data collection needs while protecting user privacy:
1. Categorize And Prioritize Tags
Organizing tags into categories helps maintain a clear tagging structure and makes it easier to manage and update tags. Prioritizing tags based on their importance and impact on site performance ensures that critical tags are loaded first, while less important ones can be loaded later or asynchronously to avoid hindering site performance.
Organizing tags into categories helps maintain a clear tagging structure and makes it easier to manage and update tags. For example, you can categorize tags based on their function, such as analytics, advertising, or customer support. Prioritizing tags based on their importance and impact on site performance ensures that critical tags are loaded first, while less important ones can be loaded later or asynchronously to avoid hindering site performance.
2. Limit Third-Party Cookies
Reducing third-party cookies improves user privacy by minimizing the amount of data shared with external parties. It also decreases the potential for data leakage and helps maintain compliance with data protection regulations like GDPR and CCPA. When using third-party tags, place them at the bottom of your priority list to minimize dependencies and adapt server-side analytics more effectively.
Generally, you must limit third-party tags on your website as they are anyways going to be dysfunctional in the near future but if you must use them, place them at the bottom of your priority list. This will help you minimize your dependencies on them while helping you adapt server-side analytics.
3. Cache Server Responses
Caching server responses enables the server to quickly serve repeated requests without reprocessing the data. This reduces server load, lowers latency, and improves the overall performance of your tagging implementation. For example, using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) helps cache server responses and distribute them to users more efficiently which can also be replicated in server-side tagging.
4. Use Tag Templates
Tag templates are pre-built configurations provided by tagging automation platforms like Tagmate that cover common use cases and tag types. Using these templates minimizes the chances of errors and ensures consistency in the implementation of tags across your website or app. For instance, Tagmate offers pre-built templates for Google Analytics, Google Ads, and Facebook Pixel, among others.
Currently, Tagmate is the sole solution provider in the market that enables users to choose from 40+ pre-built templates to automate web tagging. Combining its sheer ease of use with Its server-side tagging capabilities, the solution helps you future-proof your marketing campaigns.
5. Consider Server-Side Cookie Management Solutions
Server-side cookies provide better control over data collection and improve user privacy by avoiding the storage of cookies on the client-side. This allows for more granular management of user data and helps maintain compliance with data protection regulations. Tools like Tagmate offer server-side tag monitoring and reporting features, enabling you to make informed decisions consistently.
6. Implement Error Handling And Logging
7. Use Request Throttling And Rate-Limiting
Implementing request throttling and rate-limiting helps manage traffic spikes, preventing server overloads that could lead to downtime. These mechanisms also protect your infrastructure from abuse or malicious attempts to overwhelm your server. Tools like AWS API Gateway or Cloudflare can provide request throttling and rate-limiting features for your web applications.
8. Validate And Sanitize Input Data
Validating and sanitizing input data ensures that only valid data is processed, reducing the risk of security vulnerabilities. This helps prevent attacks such as XSS or SQL injection, which could compromise your server or user data.
9. Monitor API Quotas And Limits
Many third-party services impose API quotas or limits on usage. Monitoring these limits helps you avoid unexpected disruptions in data collection or processing and allows you to adjust your implementation accordingly to stay within the allowed limits. For instance, Google Analytics API has a quota limit of 50,000 requests per project per day. Keep track of your API usage using monitoring tools like Google Cloud Console or AWS CloudWatch to prevent hitting these limits.
10. Implement Server Redundancy And Failover
Server redundancy means having backup servers available to take over in case the primary server fails. Failover mechanisms ensure a smooth transition between servers during downtime, providing high availability and reliability for your server-side tagging infrastructure. Solutions like AWS Auto Scaling or Google Cloud Load Balancer can help implement server redundancy and failover for your web applications.
By implementing these best practices in detail, you can build a robust server-side tagging setup that maximizes data collection efficiency, ensures user privacy, and maintains high performance for your website or application.
So, how do you actually do it all? Well, that seems to be complicated but you can always switch to Tagmate as it takes care of all of these best practices while you get days worth of work done in a few hours!